View Full Version : Time to ditch the Canadian senate

bob winter
06-05-2015, 11:37 AM
I am surprised that TomF or Orca have not commented on this bloody mess. It appears that our appointed senate is full of petty thieves.

As far as I am aware, all the Canadian provinces have long ago abolished their upper houses and it is time to do this at the federal level.


Flying Orca
06-05-2015, 11:56 AM
I like the idea of a bicameral legislature, but I would prefer to see the second chamber representative of profession rather than ability as a bagman.

06-05-2015, 12:00 PM
The senate should have been radically changed a long time ago.

bob winter
06-05-2015, 12:02 PM
Unfortunately, the bagman comment is only too true. If we are going to retain the senate, it should certainly be elected and be given some real power. This is not apt to happen.

06-05-2015, 12:19 PM
I've huge difficulties with the Senate - whether its role, membership, representation, etc. I do support the notion of a bicameral Government, and even see merit in some or all members of the lesser of the Houses being appointed, using some criteria or other. One option could be that a non-partisan commission uses critera rather like how a non-profit board's nominating committee renews itself by seeking specific skill sets and representation; we have such review processes to nominate people for the Order of Canada, after all.

But while the present model might in principle be retrievable by simply cleaning house and imposing much more transparency, in practice I don't think Canadians will regain confidence in it. I don't think either major party can be trusted to retain any such safeguards in the long term, though for the moment, Trudeau's abrupt dismissal last year of all Liberal Senators from the federal Liberal caucus was an important step.

I'm all for launching any and all criminal investigations and prosecutions which the evidence supports. And for retrieving other funds which were invoiced incorrectly ... provided that the rules Senators had used to submit such claims were unambiguous at the time. That's not clear to me right now, and I think there's no good to come of crucifying people now who were following the rules in a manner that they'd been advised by the responsible officials at the time. Good political theater, but a miscarriage of justice.

Captain Intrepid
06-05-2015, 12:23 PM
Like Orca, I like a bicameral legislature. I also like that it isn't an elected post, and that it's members don't have to posture for votes like MPs. There must be a better way to appoint them though, that is far less back scratchy, and they certainly need more supervision.

Also, what is with politicians being allowed to fly business class? In my work for the government I always got the cheapest ticket. The same rules should apply to everyone. With the amount they make, if they want to upgrade, they can pay for that themselves.